Akindiya, Samuel Ogunkunle
The Apostolic Church
Family background, education, and early
Samuel Ogundele Akindiya was born on May 25, 1911, into an idolatrous
family of Akindiya, in Oguntinu's Compound, Oke-Ago-Owu, Abeokuta,
the present capital city of Ogun State in Southwestern Nigeria.
His mother's name was Bolarinwa Olaniya, and she was from Labuta's
Compound, Totoro, Abeokuta.
His parents were adherents of African indigenous religion, serving
such deities as Ogun, Obatala, Ifa, and Osun, but the most prominent
of these was Ifa. His father was a farmer (a specialist in cocoa
production) while his mother engaged in trading. His parents
eventually moved from their village to another village called
Oko-Omi in Igbo Awori, to find improved working conditions.
Ogunkunle (as he was called before his conversion) developed
a passion for western education and was determined to be educated
at all costs, in spite of his parents' illiteracy. At around
age twenty, he hired a certain Mr. Joseph Fagbohungbe to teach
him the Yoruba alphabets, and how to read and write in English.
Unfortunately, his private teacher relocated to Lagos. However,
with his strong passion for western education, Ogunkunle traveled
to Lagos in 1931 in search of his teacher. He eventually succeeded
in locating him, and following his advice, he enrolled at the
Methodist School in Yaba, Lagos. He also worked as both sexton
and gardener in the mission church in order to support himself
and pay his school fees. In 1932, after spending some time in
that school, he left Lagos to return to his hometown. There,
he enrolled at Owu Baptist School, Abeokuta. In 1933, he proceeded
to Gbadebo Training School, Ilugun, Ogun State, and finally,
between 1934 and 1935, he attended the Methodist School in Itesi,
Ogun State, where he completed his Stanzas IV and V education.
This training allowed him to work in government establishments
such as the Nigerian Railways, and the Nigerian Hides and Skin
His conversion, pastoral calling, ministerial trainings,
work, and marriage
Ogunkunle was converted to Christian faith through the direct
efforts of his brother Amos Adelani Akindiya, who was the first
member of the idolatrous family to convert to Christianity.
After conversion, Ogunkunle began to attend the Methodist Church
in Oko-Omi. He was baptized there in 1928 by Rev. Henry, and
assumed the baptismal name "Samuel."
In 1937, he joined The Apostolic Church (in which he was later
to become a minister) while he was at Odo Okun, Modakeke, in
the present Osun State of Nigeria. He was attracted to The Apostolic
Church through the testimony of a divine healing, as a certain
Mr. Ojelade testified about his being miraculously healed from
a sickness without the use of medicine. Wanting to know more
about divine healing, which was then a major practice in The
Apostolic Church in Nigeria, Samuel Ogunkunle Akindiya decided
to join The Apostolic Church at Odo-Okun, Modakeke (which is
now an Area Headquarters, the equivalent of a diocese). In 1938,
he was re-baptized by this leading classical Pentecostal denomination.
Shortly after, in the same year (1938), he was given "The right
hand of fellowship," a type of New Testament oriented initiation
rite into full church membership.
In 1939, based on divine leading and encouragement from Pastor
Akinwumi, Samuel decided to join the full-time pastoral ministry
of The Apostolic Church. Apart from the in-service ministerial
training, he attended The Apostolic Church Bible College, Ilesa
(now The Apostolic Church Theological Seminary, in affiliation
with the University of Ibadan).
He was ordained into pastoral office on January 14, 1951 at
The Apostolic Church, Ilesa Area Headquarters, Oke-Oye, Ilesa,
Osun State. In January of 1961, barely ten years after, he was
called and ordained into the office of apostle, the highest
ordination office in the Church's five-fold ministry: apostle,
prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher (see Ephesians 4:11).
After his enlistment in the pastoral ministry of The Apostolic
Church, Akindiya served in different capacities at different
locations in the country. Starting his ministry at Modakeke,
he worked in such places as Odo-Okun and Ogudu. He was later
transferred out of Modakeke to Ilesa, Otan Ile (1948), and Ilara
Mokin (1948-1952), where he worked as school manager for the
In January of 1951, while at Ilara Mokin, he married Alice Olanrewaju
Adejimi, a former pupil in The Apostolic Church Primary School,
Ilara Mokin, where he was working as school manager. The marriage
was blessed with many children, including elder Peter Akindiya,
of blessed memory.
He was later transferred to Jebba and Ijebu-Ode in 1952. He
left Ijebu-Ode for Ikoro-Ekiti in 1959. Between 1968 and 1972,
he worked in Ilorin (the present capital city of Kwara State).
In 1972, he was transferred to Akure, and shortly after, to
Idogun. In 1973, he was finally transferred to his hometown,
Abeokuta, as The Apostolic Church Abeokuta District Apostle.
In 1979, through his indefatigable efforts, the District assumed
Area status, and he was appointed by the church's executive
council as the first Abeokuta Area Superintendent in the same
year, an office he retained until his retirement in 2002.
On assumption of office as an Area Superintendent, he became
a member of the church's LAWNA (Lagos, Western and Northern
Areas) general executive council. He was later admitted as a
member of the LAWNA executive council - the highest ruling body
in The Apostolic Church LAWNA. He voluntarily retired from active
ministerial service on May 26, 2002, after serving for almost
His major contributions
Samuel Ogunkunle Akindiya contributed immensely to the growth
and expansion of The Apostolic Church work in Abeokuta and the
surrounding region. He was a distinguished school manager and
church administrator, and made numerous other contributions:
1. In 1979, he was instrumental in the church's
acquisition of a landed property at Oke Lantoro in Abeokuta
for use as a private church cemetery, the first of its kind
in the history of the church in that area.
His last days
2. In 1982, his expansion drive led to the establishment of
two distinct Area Headquarters in the Abeokuta Area. These
two areas are Ilaro Area and Ifo Area, each with its own superintendent.
3. He was also instrumental in the purchase of over seven
acres of land at a place called Onibode in Abeokuta, which
today is serving as the convention ground for the Abeokuta
4. In January of 2002, through his indefatigable efforts,
three additional Areas were carved out from the Old Abeokuta
Area from within the city of Abeokuta itself: Igbore Area
(inaugurated on January 13, 2002 with Pastor R. K. Olowonefa
as the first Superintendent), Igbehin Area (inaugurated on
January 20, 2002 with Pastor S. O. Arapasopo as the first
Superintendent), and Olurunda Idofin Area (inaugurated on
January 27, 2002 with Pastor J. A. O. Olaninwa as the first
Superintendent). He also encouraged and promoted education
and youth ministry in the church. He was very accommodating,
and as a result was very much loved by the people, both within
and outside of the church. His hobbies were singing and visitation,
especially to smaller assemblies and to those who were weak
in the faith.
Samuel Akindiya was called into glory on December 9, 2009. He
was buried on February 19, 2010. He is survived by his wife,
deaconess Alice Akindiya, his children: deaconess Rhoda Susana
Onigbinde (née Akindiya), deaconess Phebian Oyelade (née Akindiya),
deaconess Janet Olu-Ayorinde (née Akindiya), and deaconess Deborah
Olowo (née Akindiya), and his extended family.
Samson Adetunji Fatokun
1. Pastor Philip Sunday Olowo, interview by
author [Olowo is son-in-law to the deceased, and Assembly pastor,
The Apostolic Church, Idofin Assembly, Olorunda-Idofin Area,
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria].
2. Excerpts from "Pastor Samuel Ogunkunle Akindiya's Funeral
Ceremony Pamphlet," Lagos: The Apostolic Church LAWNA Printing
3. Lekan Lisoye and Moses Ogunleye, The Making of a Minister
- The Biography of Pastor Samuel Ogunleye Akindiya (Abeokuta:
T.A.C. Ijemo-Agbadu, 1999).
This story was researched and submitted by Rev.
Dr. Samson Adetunji Fatokun, who is Senior Lecturer in Church
History and Pentecostal Studies in the department of Religious
Studies at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he also
serves as the DACB liaison coordinator.